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Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird author buried in Alabama

A man rakes soil over a grave in the Lee family cemetery plot, Saturday, 20 February, 2016, in Monroeville, Alabama. Image copyright AP
Image caption Harper Lee was was buried in a family plot in a cemetery in Monroeville

Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, has been buried in a private funeral in her hometown in the US state of Alabama.

Close family and friends of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, who died on Friday aged 89, gathered for a church service in Monroeville.

To Kill a Mockingbird, about racial intolerance in the Deep South, sold more than 40m copies worldwide.

Lee released the sequel, Go Set a Watchman, in 2015 - 55 years later.

A statement from her family confirmed the acclaimed author had died in her sleep on Friday morning.

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Media captionHarper Lee wrote her iconic novel To Kill A Mockingbird in 1960

The funeral service was held at First United Methodist Church in Monroeville on Saturday, with history professor Wayne Flynt, a long-time friend, delivering the eulogy.

She was then laid to rest at her family burial plot, alongside her father and sister, Alice Lee.

The author used Monroeville as a model for the imaginary town of Maycomb, the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird.

The book remains a towering presence in American literature, telling the tale of a white lawyer defending a black man accused of rape.

To Kill a Mockingbird

5,000

copies in initial print run

$20,000

value of a signed first-edition copy

  • Over 40m global sales

  • 40 languages into which it has been translated

  • 8 Oscar nominations for 1962 film version

  • 3 Oscar wins

Getty

To Kill a Mockingbird - at a glance

In the small fictional town of Maycomb in the depression-ravaged American South, a black man named Tom Robinson is falsely accused of raping a white woman.

A lawyer named Atticus Finch defends Robinson in court. The frenzy stirred up by the case and her father's quest for justice are seen through the eyes of Finch's six-year-old daughter Scout.

The book explores issues of race, class and the loss of innocence.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." - Atticus Finch to Scout.

"It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived." - Scout Finch.

In 1962, it was made into a film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. The novel is currently being adapted for the stage.

Why is To Kill a Mockingbird so popular?

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption To Kill A Mockingbird was made into a film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

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